The United States is a massive country, which offers a range of diverse experiences for travelers. You can go hiking in Yosemite National Park in California, eat authentic food in New York City, or lounge on the beach in Miami, Florida.
When is the best time to visit the United States? It depends on where you want to go, and what you want to experience. Here are the best times to visit the US for the most popular activities.
For the outdoors – October
Although the summer is the United States’ most popular tourism season for hiking, outdoor activities, and visiting national parks, many people don’t tell you that autumn is actually the best time to visit the US for hiking and camping. Although the summer gives you the warmest weather, it oftentimes will go as high as 90°F (32°C) in some regions, making for uncomfortably hot weather. Summer is also the high season for tourists, meaning that you will be competing with large amounts of crowds at popular sights.
Related: The Top 10 National Parks In The USA
Autumn is one of the best times to visit the US for outdoor activities because you will be able to witness the changing foliage of the trees, which only occurs for 1-2 months of the year. In hiking trails where you get a nice overlook, this can be a breathtaking sight. Other benefits are the cooler weather (making for more comfortable hiking) and fewer crowds since it is the shoulder season for tourism.
Be aware that the leaves do not change in the entire country – only in certain regions. You will only be able to witness the autumn leaves in the Northern half of the country, since the Southern states like Florida, New Mexico, and Texas do not experience the four seasons due to their warmer climates.
For beach hopping – June-August
If you are more of a beach person than a mountain person, don’t worry, because the US has plenty of coastlines. Summer (June-August) is the warmest time of the year in the United States, making it the perfect season to hit the beach. Depending on the region you visit, temperatures range from 75-90°F (24-32°C), with the Southern region being hotter than the North.
The United States has some of the most iconic beaches in the world. One of the most recognized is in Miami, Florida. During its summer high season, you can lounge on the famous South Beach, or explore some of the world’s best restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. Also make sure to stroll through Ocean Drive, Miami’s most iconic avenue of shops, restaurants, and art.
California is also a popular destination for summer travelers who want to go to the beach. If you want to have a more adventurous beach experience, visit Malibu beach in Southern California. It is known to be one of the best surfing beaches in the world. Malibu is also full of luxury attractions, being that many famous celebrities live in the region.
For special US holidays – July, November, and December
If you want to visit the United States to participate in the country’s most iconic holidays, make sure to visit during these months:
July – Fourth of July: July 4th is the United States National Independence Day, which celebrates the date the US was officially declared its own country and free from British rule in 1776. Americans celebrate widely for the Fourth of July, and you will find many households will hold backyard barbeques where they play music, roast hotdogs and hamburgers, and lounge outside with friends and family. At night, make sure to attend a fireworks show, which are always held at local parks and venues, or in large metropolitan areas such as the Brooklyn Bridge in New York or the National Mall in Washington, DC.
October – Halloween: October 31st is known as Halloween in the US, which is a very popular holiday amongst children and adults alike. The holiday is recognized in other parts of the world, however, in the US, it is celebrated as a day of dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins, and eating lots of candy. One typical tradition specific to the US is “trick or treating” for children on Halloween. This is when children dress up in their costumes, and embark on their local neighborhoods at night, knocking on neighbors’ doors for free candy. Kids arrive home at the end of the night with bags stuffed with candy, that they enjoy for the weeks following.
November – Thanksgiving: November is an exciting month in the United States, as it begins the holiday season. The last Thursday of November is Thanksgiving in the US, which is a day to commemorate thanks and gratitude. The origin of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621, where English pilgrims in Massachusetts shared a feast with Wampanoag Native Americans.
During Thanksgiving, almost every household will hold a Thanksgiving dinner in their home, inviting relatives and friends. The most typical Thanksgiving food which is served during the holiday is roast turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. You will end up in a food coma afterward! The Friday following Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” in the US, which is a day of large sales in retail stores as people begin their Christmas shopping.
The United States offers a plethora of experiences and sights to see for visiting tourists. Since the country is so large, certain regions can vary greatly in experience depending on the time of year you visit. For the best summer beach weather, visit between June and August, to see the autumn foliage, visit the northern US in October, and to participate in iconic national holidays, visit for the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or Halloween.